Blake’s “Jerusalem”

Originally crafted as the preface to William Blake’s epic poem Milton, A Poem, “Jerusalem” refers to the common English belief that Joseph of Arimathea traveled to Britain with his nephew, Jesus, during the lost years of Jesus’s life not recorded in the Gospels. British church tradition views Jerusalem as a metaphor for heaven, a state of universal peace and love. These lines were set to music in 1916 by Sir Hubert Parry. The resulting hymn is now an unofficial anthem of England. It is sung annually at the Last Night of the Proms, an eight-week series of summer classical music concerts conducted at the Royal Albert Hall. It has also been sung at cricket and football matches, the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, various films, and, memorably, in sketches by Monty Python.

This is a nice video of the British countryside accompanied by a choral arrangement of the hymn. Enjoy!

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